Thursday, October 3, 2013

Decision Making

During his lunch break in his all day Leadership course for grad school, Joel came home to eat and chill for a moment. He was talking about decision making as it came up in their course. Something struck him and as a result it has also struck me.

“People who know who they are and know what their values are make decisions.”

We started thinking about everyone we know who seem to just know what they will do next and makes those decisions with certainty. All of the examples we came up with are people who know themselves well. In turn, they also do have very strong values. Some of them are so rigid in their value system that they are hard to work with on a team because they make decisions so readily that they don’t include everyone who should be involved in the process.

In a similar way, we started thinking about people who we know who don’t like to make decisions. All those folks who aren’t ever sure what they should do next, who continually question all the possibilities before they reluctantly make a decision that they still aren’t sure is the right one. There are a lot of extremes and a lot of in betweens but I think you get my drift here.

Whether we created that line above in our conscious or our subconscious mind, I think it is really important to consider that being able to make decisions is related to knowing yourself and your own set of values. Those things are the foundations of who you are.  It comes as no surprise that leaders of companies, non-profits, churches and countries all tend towards making decisions confidently. If human beings are following people with decision making skills it seems we are seeking leadership that knows their own values and true self. It seems we are looking to people for leadership who seem self actualized. This doesn’t mean they actually are, but we must as humans, understand it as a strength and seek it out whether we mean to or not.

That leaves me with this question: Are you a decision maker?

If you are, is it because you have a foundation of self awareness and core values?

If you are not, do you want to be?